Anne Shirley, Pippi Longstocking, and Other Would-Be Famous Friends

Anne Shirley, Pippi Longstocking, and Other Would-Be Famous Friends

From Calvin and Hobbes to Phoebe and Marigold, children's literature is filled with a lot of famous friendships. The book experts at New York Public Library imagined what it'd be like if their favorite literary pals could step out of their books and hang out with each other. Just imagine how much trouble Pippi Longstocking could get into with equally plucky Anne of Green Gables! For more kindred characters, check out the New York Public Library's blog.

continue reading >>

Reading Levels for Educators, Not Students

Reading Levels for Educators, Not Students

​Debates over reading levels have been fierce and ongoing. On one hand, leveling helps young readers choose books that aren't frustratingly hard or boringly easy. On the other, color-coded labels can paint students into a corner, saddling them with books that might be "appropriate" for building vocabulary, but not always for engaging their interests. The "A to Z" gradient is one of the most widespread book leveling systems, but its developers, Professor Irene C. Fountas and Professor Gay Su Pinnell, say that their system was never intended to be used by the students themselves.

continue reading >>

Talking About Attention Deficit Disorder with Anne of Green Gables

Talking About Attention Deficit Disorder with Anne of Green Gables

Anne Shirley is an adaptable gal. Since her debut in the 1908 classic Anne of Green Gables, she's inspired each generation in every form imaginable, appearing in countless films, a Netflix series, and most recently, a graphic novel. While Anne's iconic moxie remains a constant, the wider context of her story is always changing. When author Emily Wenstrom revisited the original book later in life, she reacquainted herself with the talkative, impulsive, daydreaming Anne she loved as a child, but she also found something new: Anne Shirley, Wenstrom argues, has Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).

continue reading >>

Why Sad Books Are "Kid Friendly"

Why Sad Books Are "Kid Friendly"

"Kids books" as a genre brings to mind a lot of images, most of them bright and cheery. Sadness, anger, even fear often don't make the cut for "kid friendly," but that doesn't make those experiences any less real for young readers. Newberry Award-winning author Kate DiCamillo says that she and all children's authors are really asking the same question: "How do we tell the truth and make that truth bearable?" It may be tempting to only give kids the happy endings, but when readers see their own lives represented truthfully in a book, they know they aren't alone.

continue reading >>

Makerspaces 101: Making an Impact

Makerspaces 101: Making an Impact

From mobile work stations to student-led curriculum, the maker movement is all about flexibility. With so much room for independent creation, sometimes projects won’t always turn out perfectly, but that’s okay! Projects aren’t meant to be perfect. By encouraging open-ended creativity, failure is just another step of the process. There’s no wrong way to use a makerspace, but over time, educators and students will find their own unique ways to kickstart creation in the library. Here are three tips for an effective makerspace:

continue reading >>

Libraries Make Room for Makerspaces

Libraries Make Room for Makerspaces

​With kids, creativity is never in short supply. What might be a little harder to come by is enough room for their imaginations grow. Margaux DelGuidice-Calemmo and Rose Luna, a pair of "movers and shakers" in education, have made their own "space" for makerspaces.

continue reading >>

Makerspaces 101: Creation on a Budget

Makerspaces 101: Creation on a Budget

​A quick Google search for “makerspace ideas” can be both inspiring and discouraging. Inspiring because students around the world are making really cool stuff including 3-D printed tactile maps and actual robots. The discouraging part? Most libraries don’t have the budget to install a high-tech laboratory behind the reference section. We can let you in on a little secret though: makerspaces don’t need money to be a success! Here’s how to start your makerspace on a budget.

continue reading >>

Jacqueline Woodson Named 6th National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

Jacqueline Woodson Named 6th National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

“READING = HOPE x CHANGE (What’s Your Equation?).” Reading's power to unite people across different experiences is at the heart of Jacqueline Woodson's platform as she steps into her new role as the sixth National Ambassador for Young People's Literature.

continue reading >>

Makerspaces 101: Sparking Creativity

Makerspaces 101: Sparking Creativity

​Modern libraries not only collect content, they encourage patrons to create their own. The makerspace movement took the nation by storm in 2014 with the White House’s inaugural Maker Faire, but “makers” have always been around. Now that they’ve found a home in libraries across the U.S. though, the real magic happens. While some schools and communities bring imagination to life with high-tech equipment, makerspaces don’t have to be fancy. With just a few supplies, they can happen anywhere! For libraries ready to get started, making the makerspace is the perfect first project to kick creativity into gear. Here are three ways to hit the ground running into the new year.

continue reading >>

Why Libraries Need Spanish Books (and Where to Find Them!)

Why Libraries Need Spanish Books (and Where to Find Them!)

​With over 50 million Spanish speakers, the United States is the second largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, and that number grows every year. When libraries offer books in both Spanish and English, they give kids the opportunity to grow up with two languages, providing a huge boost in both communication skills and cognitive reasoning. Librarians trying to add Spanish books to their collection might not know where to start, but Book Riot has it covered, with a treasure trove of Spanish book recommendations and the publishing houses that stock them. Check it out now!

continue reading >>

Want more reading activities for kids?

Sign up to receive email updates from Amp! Kids